How to Keep Track of Your Credit Score Easily

Your credit score is a benchmark number for your credit worthiness. The banks and financial institutions always request your CIBIL score details before accepting a loan or credit card application. If you have a good score between 750 to 900 points you are considered as a less risky prospect for granting a loan. Thus it is very important to maintain a good credit history and score.

In order to keep track of your credit score the easiest step is the first step. All you need to do is keep a track of your credit report. For this, simply check CIBIL score online for free time or make a quarterly schedule for the same. If you fail to study your CIR regularly, chances are you could be affecting your score unknowingly. Sometimes a missed-report by bank is enough to bleed the score. So keeping a track of the report ensures that you keep a track of all of your credit activities.

With credit report in hand you would know how many loans and credit cards you owe. You can easily calculate your income to loan ratio. Your credit percentage should always be 45 % or below the income level. If EMIs for credit card expenses and loans other than home loan total more than 25 % of your income you should consider it inappropriate. As long as you could maintain a manageable income to loan percentage you are less likely to fall into debt trap and miss the payment.

To maintain a decent score, it is mandatory to have a clear credit history wherein there is no lapse in repayment. Thus timely payment of loans and bills is one of the most important steps to add to your credit score.

Some tips to ensure timely repayment of balances-

  • You can try to put all your bills details handy in one place so that you don’t miss any of them ever. Use a computer excel sheet or maintain a journal for the purpose.
  • You can also consider to make a habit of paying out on a same day each month. This avoids least management of bill payments.
  • Always carefully note down the last due date for payment. It is a good habit to make payment well in advance rather than enjoying the last day ride.
  • Use an automatic payment via your bank account. This ensures regular payments. However you would need to make sure your account holds enough funds always. Check bounce can have a very negative impact on your score, so beware of this fact always!

When you study your report, be vary of any mistake in personal information or account information. Re check if all the credit related information is true. If there is an error, you should raise a dispute with the bank at the earliest. Also, never ignore an unidentified query or action on CIR.

Other than your repayment habits, your card plays a major role in maintaining a good score. As it is easy and convenient to use a plastic card for your day to day expenses, it is easier to increase CIBIL score with that card, provided you keep clearing the card balance before the due date every month. Unpaid credit bills and large card balances can heavily damage the score.

 

When you keep a good care of your credit score, you can be future safe for credit. Another way to increase the score is to keep your old credit card account with good history with you. Never close this card. Old card would not only grant a positive and longer credit history but would also emphasize on unrestricted repayment history. These two factors make you a desirable prospect for credit.

 

However you should not use your card for all expenses. For, your credit utilization would be very high in that case. You should instead use up to 30 per cent or lesser credit limit provided to you. This helps you maintain a healthy CIBIL score. Sometimes bank might offer you better credit limit on account of your good credit rating. Accept the increased limit as it will improve the credit utilization further and help your score. The increased limit should never be a means to increase the expenses.

 

Last but not the least, you should also pay attention to the accounts of the co-signors, joint account holders, or for the ones’ you signed as guarantor to. If any of these parties fail to repay they would directly damage your report as well.

All in all it is easy to manage the score if you follow these tips.

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Why Does India need free CIBIL score

In a world that is moving quickly towards simplification and Digital, information is available online very easily. For someone who handles their own finances, it is highly unlikely to have never come across the terms- CIBIL and Credit score rating. There are so many myths and wrong information floating around the concept of CIBIL score calculation which allows financial lenders and credit card issuers to take undue advantage sometimes from their customers.shutterstock_225231568Yes, CIBIL does provide insights into credit history at a fee of INR 550. But one session is not enough to understand why you have been rendered ineligible for loans. Hiring a professional financial advisor to understand concepts on how to correct CIBIL score is again a costly affair, especially for those who are planning to make a purchase shortly.

Here are 7 reasons why India desperately needs a platform for free CIBIL score calculation and consultation very soon.

  1. To understand what CIBIL actually does

CIBIL expands to Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited. Founded in year 2000, it is a ISO 27001:2005 certified organization entrusted with collection and maintenance of personal payment records related to cards and loans. Each month, your bank and loan provider furnish a detailed sheet on your history to the bureau.

Based on the CIBIL score calculation, your eligibility for a loan is decided by the approval agencies.

  1. How others can see your credit history?

A loan debt still hovering around your neck, and you thought other banks won’t come to know! Most loan borrowers who have failed to repay the loan and interest find their applications rejected. Loans for bad score are seldom approved and only way to check your eligibility for a loan is through CIBIL.

Free credit report checking India will definitely serve both customers and bank well.

  1. To know how loans and credit card payments are interlinked

An enquiry in your report is the instance where a bank or a credit issuing company opens your score sheet. Higher the number of enquiries against your account, poorer will be your score. This means, reduced chances of loan approval!

How to correct score in such cases? Make your card payments on time, and avoid opening a new credit card account before applying for a new loan. Your loan eligibility is more strongly connected to your credit card utilization rate than you previously anticipated.

  1. To avoid rejections on loan for bad credit score

If your score is less than 600, most banks will reject your loan application. Some lenders however do accept loan applications, but at a higher interest rate. If consumers get free credit report checking India, there will be reduced cases of loan rejections in the country.

Once you have an idea on how to correct CIBIL score before a loan application, your eligibility automatically improves.

  1. To stay away from business frauds

Are you being approached by a corporate identity to back a loan application as a guarantor? More often than not, business frauds escape the attention of the guarantor due to unavailability of a free report checking India online. If there are no previously known cases of card applications and loan applications, the bank will see no credit history.

  1. To know different cases where your CIBIL score may take a hit

CIBIL does not have any repayment pattern for such borrowers, which means your risk as a guarantor magnifies manifold. Your own chances of taking a loan in the future go for a toss due to unhealthy repayment behaviour reflecting in your CIBIL report, even if you are just a debt guarantor.

In India, both banks and private lenders should be able to see the credit behaviour of a borrower through free cibil score calculation sheet.

There are other benefits too of gaining free access to CIBIL score calculations online like:

  • Whether an unpaid debt is still showing in your report despite being written off
  • Managing disputes with banks and card issuers through CIBIL
  • Understanding how your score actually decided your interest rate for loan, so that you can bargain for a relaxed rate
  • Why you should think twice before pre-closing your loan account
  • Understanding how mixing secured loans with unsecured loans can help you improve CIBIL score

As a fair indicator of your past credit payment behaviour, CIBIL score calculations available online will definitely save you time, money and effort instantly. With free CIBIL score online, doing business will become all the more easy and ethical.

The Importance of Your Credit Score When Looking For a Home Loan

Real estate prices in India have scaled to unbelievable heights. Buying a house, atleast in the major cosmopolitans in India seems like a distant dream for most especially because the prices have exceeded a common man’s affordability. Inspite of the recent trends in property prices in India showing a marginal downturn, they still remain far above the ground.

To cover the gap between what a common man’s pocket can allow and what home sellers are asking for, a home loan must be sought. This article will quickly walk you through on why your credit score is such a big deal when you are looking for a home loan.

How to proceed when looking for a home loan?

It is important to mention here that banks and other non banking institutions that provide housing loan and are also member of CIBIL, withdraw a loan applicant’s credit report as a first step in evaluation of the loan application. Whether the applicant is seeking a secured debt or an unsecured debt it does not matter. Even for a thing as minor as a request for an upward revision of the credit limit on your credit card, sends a bank looking for your credit report. Most banks and other lenders are known to grant credit to those who have scores greater than or equal to atleast 750. Thus, what’s applicable for any other loan is applicable for home loan too. You should do a cibil score check every year to keep a eye on your score.

Banks and other non banking financial institutions do have their internal policies on credit scores and reports but none of them have ever openly disclosed their criteria. However, by and large 750+ scores are considered as very good score to get through the loan process at any bank, unless you lack a document or fail on other parameters of the lender.

How do I know my score?

Knowing your score is not complicated at all. You can get online and go to cibil’s website . Here you can request your copy of CIBIL report. After a payment of Rs. 550/- you can easily and instantly get yourself access to your score and report. Incase you do not want to invest money in withdrawing your report then you can also go to http://www.freescoreindia.com and request for a free credit score. Although free but you will receive it only three days after you have submitted a complete request. So, if you are not in a hurry, you may consider this alternative.

I know my score, now what?

Once you have received your copy of the report then give it a thorough look. Look at all the details carefully and make sure that they are all correct. Incase you find any false information then it is best to raise a CIBIL dispute and request for a rectification. The reason why you should be so cautious about all the details to be right is because there could be information that is hampering your score. Upon correction of that misleading information, not only will your score improve but also it will become easier for you to impress upon your prospective lenders.

For example, you may have paid in full an old used car loan some time ago but the lender has not reported this to CIBIL. However, the report shows the loan account as still “open” and running. Since CIBIL’s authority is limited to only collating data from its various members, it cannot update unless it has been notified from the bank itself. Thus, by having your data corrected, it will bring down your used credit limit and help increase your score.

I have a good score. Can I use it to my advantage?

Ofcourse! It may come as a pleasant surprise and it is true. Often we have heard that people with poor scores need to worry and not those with good scores. But that is so untrue. The truth is a good score helps the borrower more than the lender. This is so because it not only it means that you can easily seek credit upto the limit of your eligibility but also you can negotiate for favourable terms and a lower rate of interest. Banks and other lenders will be vying for your loan portfolio incase you have a good score. Therefore, you can certainly take advantage of competitive rates.

Are there any loans for someone with a poor score?

Well, ofcourse. Even with bad credit home loans can be acquired. There is a good chance that you may have to pay an interest rate higher than standard rates or you may have to get a guarantor on board or perhaps, get someone with a good credit standing to co-sign your application, but you certainly do not need to deprive yourself of a home loan.

Incase, unfortunately you do not hold a good score then do not lose heart. You can adopt credit healthy ways and work on improving your score. We have covered on our blog on how you can repair your broken credit.

Rejuvenate the power in your credit score

Like they say, “better late than never”.  Despite a poor score, by bringing discipline in your finances and making a fresh start will help you achieve a better score over a period of time. Avoid being nonchalant about your score, have patience and work on it actively. Once better then go after that loan you always wanted.

There may be chances that you do not have the skill required to negotiate on interest rates or you do not understand how you can bring in discipline in your investments. In this case, you must seek expertise of credit consulting companies who can do this job for you. Find comfort in the company of an expert and follow their advice.

Stay tuned for more credit updates!

Is a CIBIL score necessary for loan eligibility?

It is aspirational for an individual to want to own a home of their own, or to purchase their dream car. However, it may not be possible without some financial assistance, to help realise their dreams. Prior to availing of a loan, there are certain parameters to be taken into account.

The general criteria for availing a loan include income, existing loans and repayments details which reflect on the CIBIL report. These behaviours of repayment as captured in a CIR are reflected in the credit score as well. Over the last 10 years the CIR has become an integral part of decision making of banks and the behaviour reflected in a CIR can impact the decision of whether to approve or decline the loan.

What is a CIBIL score?

CIBIL, i.e. the Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited, is the oldest credit bureau in the country. TransUnion (TU), a multinational credit bureau and majority shareholder of CIBIL has developed a credit score basis the data available at CIBIL, and this score is referred to as CIBIL TU score or the CIBIL score. While there are newer entrants such as Equifax, Experian and CRIF High Mark and they also provide scores, currently most lending institutions rely more on the CIBIL score, and consequently a credit score is currently synonymous with a CIBIL TU score.  

Is a CIBIL score necessary for loan eligibility?

Once you apply for a loan and submit the application to the financial institution, they run a check with a Credit Information Company (CIC), or credit bureau for information such as the applicant’s previous credit history, repayment track record, number of loan and card accounts, EMI to income ratio etc. in the CIR. Higher the credit score on the report, higher are the chances of your loan being approved. Further, in most developed market the terms at which the loan is offered may also be better with a good score.

Should a credit score be low, or below average, chances are that a lender would be hesitant to approve a loan. While crucial to eligibility, scores help both the lender and borrower understand the credit history better. The credit score is indeed crucial in the approval process, and a healthy score would definitely go a long way in helping towards loan approval.

Broadly, lenders check CIBIL Score for factors such as previous repayment history, written-off cases, the amount of outgoing by way of EMI versus income, the number of loan and card accounts etc.

I’m a first time applicant. Will I get a loan?

It is very likely that a person applying for a loan may not have availed of a loan or credit card previously. This would mean that a credit report would not show up any relevant data, as there is no previous repayment history to take into consideration. In such cases, a lender may consider other parameters prior to approving a loan, as only a CIR would not suffice.

In the recent past, credit bureaus have started to provide a risk score to those individuals with no credit history. This data is indicative in nature, providing the financial institution a benchmark to assess the loan application.

While a low score need not mean the end of the road, it can certainly hamper your prospects of availing of a loan in the future. If the score is low on account of any inaccuracies in your CIR, it would be prudent to contact the concerned credit bureau to seek which institution needs to be contacted for getting the details corrected. If it is owing to poor financial health, it would probably be wise to take stock of the situation, and rectify it at the earliest.

 

What are credit bureaus

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Mrs. Bakshi works for the IT sector at a senior position and draws a monthly income of INR 1,30,000. She is servicing three credit cards, one education loan for her daughter and a car loan. All of these have been procured from different banks. She now wants to know her performance on all of these loans and also wants to find out, how much is the outstanding on her loans and credit cards, to manage her finances properly.

What would she do to procure information on her loan accounts from all these banks? Run around to all the banks and ask for information?

Well, there is a single window / platform from where, this information about multiple loan accounts can be procured. It is known as ‘credit information bureau’. In India, the most well-known bureau is Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd. Abbreviated as CIBIL. Let’s know more about these ‘credit bureaus’.

Credit Information Bureaus are the repository of credit and loan related information of borrowers. This is the information submitted by banks and lending institutions to the bureaus – about those customers who have – either single or multiple – loan accounts.

A customer who has multiple loan accounts at different banks, and wishes to draw information on all of those, may find it challenging & time consuming to do so. Whereas, if there is just one institute that provides all the information on all loan accounts of a particular customer, it is very convenient and also quick to seek such information.

This loan account information is known as “credit information report” and is prepared by credit bureaus based on the details submitted by the banks / NBFCs. A credit report can be of either individual customers, business enterprises or organizations & institutes. On the basis of information submitted by the banks, the credit bureaus compute credit score that marks the credit worthiness of the account holder.

How can one single bureau have all the information of Mrs. Bakshi’s loans and credit cards?

All the banks who lend money in the form of either loans or credit cards, have to compulsorily submit such information to the credit bureaus on a regular basis. Hence, any bureau will have all the information on a particular customer’s credit history whether it is a loan or a credit card; or whether they have taken loan from a single bank or more than one bank.

Is there only CIBIL or are there more credit bureaus in India?

There are four Bureaus operational in India, to whom all the banks report their loan information. Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd. or CIBIL , Equifax Credit Information Services, Experian Credit Information Company and Crif High Mark Credit Information Services. A customer can seek their credit report from any of these bureaus. These credit bureaus charge a nominal fee to provide customers their credit information report and credit scores.

CIBIL charges INR 500.

Equifax charges INR 400.

Experian charges INR 400.

Highmark charges INR 300.

Many people wrongly believe that a bureau will provide them their credit information for free. There is no such a thing as free credit report or free credit score. One has to pay for such service.

Effect of Marriage on Credit Score

When they made the movie “Shaadi ke Side Effects” or Side Effects of Marriage as translated in English they forgot to talk about effect of matrimony on Credit Score!! No worries we will remedy that. First questions first “does marriage have any effects on your credit score at all”.

Does Marriage Affect the Credit Scores of Both Partners?

The short answer is “no” at least directly. When two people tie the knot their credit scores do not merge. The credit scores are for individuals and reflect the individual credit history and continue to so even after two people officially decide to live together. While after marriage you may choose to have a joint bank account there is no joint credit score.

So even after you get married the debt and credit cards in your name get treated just the way they were before you get married. So if you default on your payments only your credit score is adversely affected and the converse is also true.

Similarly if you apply for a loan in your name only your credit history will be evaluated and not that of your spouse. Any digression only in your credit history will be considered and not his/hers. A good credit score for your spouse cannot get you any brownie points. However if you apply for a joint loan then both your credit histories will be considered individually and the decision will be made accordingly.

Some Special Tips for Women:

Women need to take care of some aspects especially when they get married. Even if you take your husband’s surname post marriage it will have no bearing whatsoever on your credit score; the credit history in your maiden name does not get erased. So you can continue with your credit trail whether god or bad.

You need to inform the concerned parties including banks and creditors about the name change so that changes can be made at appropriated places. The history gets carried forward with the new or the changed name/surname. There are others aspects like the date of birth etc that establish the identity of the person so there is no need to worry on this aspect i.e name/surname change post marriage.

Now the next aspect I want to touch upon is that women should maintain their individual credit cards and bank accounts and continue to maintain them irrespective of the fact whether you are working or not. Even if you start a joint account or take an add-on credit card do continue with at least one card and one account in your individual name whether maiden or otherwise. An old account is much more helpful when it comes to establishing the credit habits of an individual.

Your credit history could come in handy in case due to some exigency like financial hardship, death of spouse or bad credit score of spouse you need to use your credit score for applying for a loan. In case years down the line you want to start afresh and have a credit history it might become difficult and cumbersome for you to get a credit rating. Also at least a six month trail is required for a credit rating.

However…..

In case of a loan taken in joint name shall impact the score similar to a loan taken in individual name, irrespective of the fact that the person may be second or third joint applicant and repayments are being done from the primary applicant’s account.

Marriage does have some indirect impacts on your credit score. In case either of the partner is not financially disciplined it can affect the family finances and can cause you do default on payments thereby impacting the credit score negatively.

Marriage involves a lot of expenditure (at least in India) whether its pre-marriage preparations or post-marriage shopping and setting up a new house. So it’s important that you plan carefully and don’t overspend or max your credit cards. It’s not a good idea to begin a new life in debt.

A positive outcome of a marriage is two credit scores. So in case one partner has a lower credit score than you always have a choice of using the credit score of the other partner when applying for a loan.

Though marriage does not affect the credit score directly, it does impact your life and lifestyle. With careful planning, you can avoid any pitfalls and make the best of it; financial or otherwise.

How often should you check your credit score?

One may not need the credit or loans at all times, but it is prudent to keep track of your credit score regularly. If you find anything out of the ordinary, it would be wise to report it to the concerned lender immediately, and have it rectified.

As a consumer, you should be aware of your credit history, as any small error can play havoc with your score. Make sure that the information captured in your report is accurate and up-to-date, ideally checking at least once a year.

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When should you check your credit score?

There are four credit bureaus in India licensed to operate by the RBI. You can apply for a report to any (or all) of the bureaus, and check the scores across each.

A good strategy is to spread out your report requests throughout the year, instead of getting them from each bureau at the same time. That way, you would be able to keep track of your score year-round.

You may want to check your report additionally if you are planning to avail of a new line of credit – a loan or a credit card – as the score plays a critical role in the approval process. A good score can ensure you get a loan on the best possible interest rates and terms.

Alternately, it would suffice to request for a report from the bureau once a year. Checking your personal credit history as often as you like does not impact your score.

How to get a free credit score?

While the bureaus themselves do not offer a free credit report to consumers, you can log on to freescoreindia.com, for a free credit score from Equifax, one of the bureaus in the country today.

To summarise, while a free credit report is not available currently, spending a relatively modest sum to know that your financial information is correct is well worth it. Know your credit score and earn yourself some well-deserved peace of mind.

Can I Get Free Credit Scores in India?

Curious about your credit? Applying for a new loan to buy that dream house? The first thing to do would be to check your credit score, as it is an integral part of the credit report, a document that every lender scrutinises prior to approving a loan application.

CIBIL, Equifax, Experian and CRIF High Mark are the four credit bureaus or credit information companies licensed to operate by the RBI in India. Currently, none of these offer free individual credit reports. However, you can purchase your report on submission of basic documentation and payment of a nominal fee.

If you want to check your score for free, there is now an option to do so. In conjunction with Equifax (one of the said bureaus) Freescoreindia.com does offer this service. You can obtain your score by following a very simple process.

How to get your free credit score:

1. Log on to http://www.freescoreindia.com.

2. Click on ‘Check your free credit score’.

3. Fill in a simple online application form.

Provide information such as your name, email address, the city you are located in, and phone number.
The reason for requirement of the credit score has also to be mentioned.

4. Once done, click on the ‘Submit’ button.

5. On submission of all the required details and documents, your credit score will be updated to your online account (registered with Freescoreindia.com) within 72 hours.

6. You will receive notification via email and SMS regarding the same.

7. You can now login and check your score.

With this quick and easy service, getting a free credit score in India is indeed a reality!